Explore historical and projected climate data, climate data by sector, impacts, key vulnerabilities and what adaptation measures are being taken. Explore the overview for a general context of how climate change is affecting Malaysia.


Malaysia has been rapidly transitioning to an urban dominated society. World Bank (2017) estimates that 76% of Malaysia’s population now lives in urban areas, a figure increasing by over 0.5% per year. The key adaptation themes described in Malaysia’s 2015 submission to the UNFCCC, its Biennial Update Report, reflect this, emphasizing the need for urban adaptation. Areas covered include urban surface water flooding, urban heat island, ensuring water supply and quality, and public health issues such as the spread of vector-borne diseases. Additional areas demanding adaptation action include addressing climate change impacts on agriculture and particularly crop yields, as well as issues affecting ecosystem health, forestry, and coastal areas.

Adaptation Options for Key Sectors

  • Development of drought, heat, and water tolerant varieties of rice, rubber, oil palm and cocoa.
  • Upskilling of labor in the rubber industry to facilitate adoption of techniques such as Low Intensity Tapping Systems and installation of rain gutters.
  • Development of guidelines and procedures for treating heat-related ill-health in primary and tertiary healthcare facilities.
  • Improvements in infrastructure, systems, and behavior to protect public health during natural hazard events, particularly ensuring clean water and functioning sewerage services during flood events.
  • Development and disbursing of alternative medicines for treatment of dengue fever.
  • Improve water demand and loss management, this includes raising public awareness and adopting new water saving technologies.
  • Expanded coverage of integrated flood and basin management, and early warning systems to cover all river basins.
  • Development of systems for monitoring and detection of the structural integrity of disaster risk management and hydraulic infrastructure.
  • Investment in protection measures for power facilities, water treatment facilities, sewerage systems, and waste facilities.

Key Vulnerabilities

  • Research is needed to improve understanding of the linkages between sea-level rise and extreme weather events in coastal areas.
  • Develop water savings techniques and technologies as well as systems to improve water quality.
  • Issues which contribute to urban heat-island need research, these include the relationship of different building materials with rising temperatures and mechanisms for ensuring thermal comfort for residents while meeting emissions reductions targets.
  • Research is urgently needed to improve the accuracy and reliability of downscaled climate models to enhance vulnerability assessments and adaptation policy development, particularly with regard to precipitation trends. 
  • Strengthen understanding of linkages between climate change and environmental systems such as biodiversity, hydrology, carbon fluxes, marine ecosystems, and forestry. Particularly enhanced understanding is desired on ecosystem services and mechanisms for improving resilience in the delivery of those services.
  • Data collection is needed to monitor responses in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems to climate stressors.
  • Data collection to monitor responses in vector-borne diseases to climate changes.
  • Data collection and monitoring of pests and disease outbreaks and invasive species impacts on crop production.
  • Increasing capacity of centres of excellence in coastal management and research and delivery of design guidelines and operation and maintenance instructions for coastal infrastructure.
  • Capacity building and technology transfer needs in the areas of integrated flood risk management and early warning systems.
  • Capacity building for extension officers supporting the agriculture sector, particularly small-scale producers, to support adaptation and resilience.